Colleen O’Neil has been working to build better health-care support as part of the Medical Clinic Society on Bowen.
She sees a dire need for a health centre so that islanders don’t have to leave the island when they feel least like commuting into town for health services. O’Neil is flabbergasted that it would appear to Vancouver Coastal Health that we are well-served on Bowen when it comes to medical services as a result of their own survey “My Health, My Community.”
“However, we went in depth and drilled down into their results with a 39-page survey. Our survey showed that while 85 per cent of us have a GP, (general practitioner or family doctor) only 32 per cent use a GP on the island. It would seem like we are well-served here, but we are not.”
Here is a link to the slide presentation produced by the Health Centre Society to council on January 18, 2016. Please refer to this presentation for more detailed survey results:
The Caring Circle has had some major successes- from providing a health care services portal, health programming, a driver program and advocacy work to improve health services on Bowen.
Another related initiative has been the nascent offshoot Community Medical Clinic Society, dedicated to the establishment and maintenance of a primary health care facility. Sounds simple, but getting a clinic up and running will require hard work, vision, money and persistence. Fortunately, some great models have been developed by similar communities.
A long time ago, Izaak Walton said that health is “a blessing that money cannot buy.” We have, however, spent a great deal of money and come a very long way in health care since the seventeenth century, with incredible advances in medicine and greatly improved delivery and access to services.
But not everyone in our small part of the world finds that medical care is as accessible as it should be. In fact, many Bowen residents are obliged to travel to the mainland to receive primary health care. This is not just an inconvenience for a limited number of residents. It is in fact putting many islanders, particularly seniors and the very young, at unnecessary risk.
We are fortunate to have the excellent care provided by Dr. Suzanne Schloegl, the only family physician who lives and works on Bowen. She cannot, however, be expected to look after our more than 3,400 full-time residents, not to mention the “summer people” and visitors. Our doctor-patient ratio puts us on par with Madagascar and just a bit better than Bangladesh.
August 11, 2014 – come and visit our Facebook page for details!
By Meribeth Deen
Bowen Island Undercurrent
Jan 30, 2014 at 1:00 PM
On Monday, Council heard from both the theatre community and the gymnastics community about potential uses of community lands in Snug Cove. Another perspective, brought to council in the form of a letter written by the Bowen Island Caring Circle, was put on hold until the letter’s authors might be available to present their perspective in person.
In December 2012 a committee made up of councillors Daron Jennings, Cro Lucas andTim Rhodes took the lead on planning for a community centre initiative. This committee came up with a vision for a “Community Campus” that would incorporate arts and recreational space into a building that would also house a Municipal Hall, saving the Municipality the $100 thousand per year it currently plays in rent for its offices and town hall. Councillor Tim Rhodes says the other aspect to the Community Campus plan was that if a group could get the money together to build something, then the municipality would give them the land they needed to make it happen.